Friday, December 31

What I have been doing

I haven't felt too creative lately so I have been making cushions to take to the animal shelter. I was given some used drapes by someone who thought I could use the fabric for quilts, but I wasn't too sure of the content and frankly, didn't really like it much. The dark fabric was the lining and was pretty faded, but when I used the back, it was fine. HRH had found a few, well, many, bags of fiber fill in the garage that someone also gave me to use in quilts thinking it was batting. I had plenty of that and fabric bits that I trim and put in an old crock until I get enough I use them for dog beds too. So I accomplished a few things, cleaned up things I don't need. made HRH happy to get the stuff out of the garage and I'm sure the pets at the shelter will be happy and at 18 degrees F today perhaps a little warmer.

We are about as boring as a cabbage most of the time and New Year's Eve is one where we really shine in the boring department. We will probably watch movies and maybe see the new year in, probably not. I figure it won't look much different the next day. I hope it has been a good year for you and that 2011 will be even better.

Happy New Year

Tuesday, December 28

One more in the to speak

I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas. Ours...well, it was just the two of us and we only heard from one of our three sons which was rather disappointing but I have to suck it up and go on. We had a nice ham dinner and watched Marley and Me and both HRH and I cried like babies at the ending. I read the book, but forgot how sad it was and Maggie laying with her head on my lap, didn't help. It was nice to have a quiet day actually. No mad dash to clean and get ready for a big dinner or get the packages wrapped. We just rested, read and watched Christmas movies after Marley.

Speaking of HRH, he got me a new Droid phone for Christmas and I am having quite a time even making a phone call. Steep learning curve. I have always said "I don't want to do anything with my phone but make or take calls" Someone wasn't listening! I haven't had my number switched yet so until tomorrow, I can still use my old one. I will make a trip in to the Verizon store then and hopefully have the nice young man teach me how to use this and perhaps I can even talk them into showing me how to hook up my built in blue tooth in my car. To be helpful, hubby had the store load all of his 233 phone numbers into my phone. I don't want his choice of numbers and will have the nice man at the store remove them too. I'm not quite sure why he thought that would be helpful to me. Oh Well. I did find out how to text so my grandson and I can communicate!

Truth be known, I'd much rather use my time learning a new quilting technique.

I'm not setting resolutions this year but will have a few goals to shoot for. How about you?

Sunday, December 19

Baby gift finished

I finally finished an afghan I have been working on for a long while. I like to have something to do with my hands when I'm sitting watching TV. This is a checkerboard pattern and made with the softest of yarns. A young mom at church had a new baby and had also lost her mom this past year so I wanted to do something special for her and didn't have the time to make a quilt. I hope she likes it. I took it to her and she wanted to wait until Christmas to open it. A lady at the Assisted Living Facility where I used to work showed me this pattern, just alternate 5 stitches of knit, and 5 purls by 5 rows, then purl on the knit and knit on the purl for 5 more rows. Really fast and you can make any number of rows if you want the checkerboards a little bigger. I don't knit very often so like something simple. I have a book of knit stitches that shows squares of each pattern, I think they are 18" finished. Then you sew or knit them together to make a sampler quilt of sorts. I may tackle this in the new year, but I'm not sure yet.

I hope all of you have a very Merry Christmas. Enjoy your families if they are close. Ours are not so we are by ourselves on Christmas. We are having a couple of orphans (neighbors) over for Christmas Eve for dinner and that is about it for the celebrating.

Saturday, December 18

Baking like a mad women

I have been baking for days and the kitchen looks like it too...what a mess! I hope to finish up today and get my cookie plates made up for friends and neighbors. I love to bake and at this time of year I have a good reason. Usually I just bake and HRH eats it or I share with an elderly couple I know, this time the sharing goes a bit farther.

I made this pie for a Christmas party at church and it went like wildfire. I even saw an older man using a spoon to get the last of it out of the pan and it was just scraps. I love coconut cream pie, just like my dad did and because I am trying to lose weight (down 30 pounds), I didn't do anything but taste the filling when I was making it.

I have made about 5 or 6 batches of cookies which include: chocolate crinkles, thumbprint cookies with raspberry jam from our garden. (Actually only the raspberries are from the garden, I only wish I could go out and pick jars of jam already made). I also made butterscotch pecan cookies which I still have to frost, maple coconut bars and some little fussy ones dipped in chocolate and chopped nuts. In the middle of all this HRH wanted to make something for his company potluck, he wanted baked beans, so I coached him and he made the biggest pot of baked beans I have ever seen and only about half of them fit in my large crockpot. I found beans splashed everywhere, even on my toaster oven which is beside the stove. I'm glad he doesn't cook but once a year, my kitchen would never make it out in one piece.

All in all, it's been fun but I will be glad to get the kitchen back in some kind of order.

I hope you are all having fun and not too stressed out preparing for Christmas. Enjoy and remember the reason for the season.

Sunday, December 12

Latest project

This has been a year long project with a local quilt shop, Quilting Delights. We made several blocks per month and the large center medallion, called dream catcher was a single month block. The fabrics were Hoffman Batiks although they don't show well in this picture. The quilt is 107" sq. and I had to wait until I had company to get help taking a picture and as you can see, it isn't a very good one. There was no place to lay it out and it was too big for us to hold up high enough. I didn't notice the bottom corner until I uploaded and saw it...too late to retake. Oh Well, you can see enough. I am glad to say that the top is finished and I will have it machine quilted after the holidays. I want custom work done and I know it won't be cheap! I worked too hard on it to use a panto as there are lots of beige background that will lend itself to some nice feathers or something of the sort. I got the name of a good machine quilter from my bosses wife as I have seen the work of a few wall hangings in the clinic. I promise to get a better picture when it is finished.

Sunday, December 5

The kick off

I kicked off the Christmas season with an ornament exchange party that I was invited to. We were all asked to bring a snack food and a wrapped ornament. We drew numbers and opened one at a time. After the first one was opened, we could either open another one when our number came up or steal one of the others that had already been opened. I brought the silliest glass cow that had a tutu on made of soft marabou feathers. We all got a laugh out of that and it was quite a popular "steal" item. We had a lot of fun and I didn't eat too much. I'm still losing weight even with Thanksgiving.

This weekend was a weekend of must do's I finished my giant block of the month quilt top and got the binding done, I altered a skirt and pair of pants to keep up with my aforementioned weight loss, I sewed down the binding on a friend's quilt since she hates to do that and I finished a fleece quilt for another friend who was struggling with it on an ancient machine. THEN, I did my least favorite thing to do and that is yard work. I trimmed 24 roses, raked leaves and put down 8 garden wagon loads of bark. I was one sore puppy this morning and noticed a few muscles I wasn't aware that I had (and wish I didn't at this point). I actually worked for 3 hours without stopping and felt like I really accomplished something. Back to work tomorrow so I can rest!

The Saturday highlight was the televised football game between the University of Oregon and Oregon State. I went to OSU, but lived in Eugene where the U of O is for most of my life,and our son went to the U of O. So it was a great game for both HRH and me. I always root for OSU, but U of O had a chance at the championship so I was kind of glad they won. (don't tell hubby though).

I hope all of you are gearing up but still leaving room to enjoy Christmas and to remember why we celebrate. Slow down and enjoy it.


And they called it Puppy Love,